Sunday, May 19, 2013
BY BEN MCCANNA Staff Writer
CLINTON -- A 19-year-old fugitive may have stolen a bicycle and a car to aid in his escape, police say.
Timothy James Ezell, 15 Diamond Ave., was still at large Thursday, two days after he slipped out of handcuffs and escaped through the rear window of a police cruiser parked at the Winslow police station.
Police recovered a car in Clinton on Wednesday afternoon that had been reported stolen from Winslow, just hours after Ezell eluded police from four area agencies, Chief Craig Johnson said.
"It's suspected that he stole a vehicle out of Winslow and drove it to Clinton," Johnson said.
Winslow Detective Gina Henderson said a 2003 Chevy Tahoe was reported stolen about 8 a.m. on Clinton Avenue. About the same time and place, police also recovered a stolen bicycle that might be related to the stolen vehicle case, but Henderson wouldn't say whether Ezell is a suspect in the thefts.
About 5 p.m., police found the stolen vehicle on an all-terrain vehicle trail in Clinton, Henderson said. It was undamaged, the keys were inside and it was returned to its owner.
Henderson said she was able to get partial fingerprints and potential DNA evidence from the car for analysis at the state crime lab.
Shortly before the Tuesday escape, Ezell was arrested about 7 p.m. after a witness reported a car burglary on Long Avenue, Johnson said. Two Clinton police officers drove Ezell to the Winslow police station for processing and, while the officers were inside, Ezell escaped by opening a rear window of the 2011 Crown Victoria where he was detained.
Johnson said the window controls in the cruiser were operable at the time of the escape. Ezell was handcuffed at that time, but slipped out of them.
The search began Tuesday night with officers from Clinton, Waterville and Winslow who spent three hours looking for Ezell in nearby fields, roads and along the Kennebec River. The search also include a K-9 team from the sheriff's office.
On Wednesday afternoon, police picked up the search again when more than 10 officers from Clinton, Fairfield, Winslow, Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff's Office checked on tips throughout Clinton. Police worked into early morning Thursday to no avail, Johnson said. Police don't believe Ezell poses a danger to the public, but Johnson urges area residents to lock their car doors and secure any bicycles.
Ezell eluded police once before, albeit briefly.
On Sept. 30, Ezell was arrested after he stole a car, drove it while drunk, crashed, tried to steal another car and then dropped 30 feet from a bridge into the Kennebec River while fleeing from police. He was arrested a few minutes later when he swam to shore. He later pleaded guilty to a several charges including burglary.
Earlier that same month, Ezell was convicted on an assault charge, fined $300 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. He was also convicted of charges including theft in two separate incidents in April 2011.
Before escaping Tuesday, Ezell was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, violating conditions of release and consuming liquor as a minor, according to police dispatch logs.
Police asked that any information about Ezell's location be directed to the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office or the Clinton Police Department by calling the Augusta Regional Communications Center at 624-7076.
Johnson said anyone who knowingly harbors Ezell will face charges.